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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Sting, a world-premiere musical at Paper Mill Playhouse

Half Time at Paper Mill Playhouse, First Rehearsal

Cast and Crew set for East Coast premiere of Half Time a new musical at Paper Mill Playhouse


Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, announced today the full cast and creative team for the East Coast premiere of Half Time, a new musical, with book by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin and additional music by Marvin Hamlisch and Ester DeanHalf Time begins performances Thursday, May 31, 2018, for a limited engagement through Sunday, July 1, 2018, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive) in Millburn, NJ.  Opening Night is set for Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. Half Time is produced in association with Dori Berinstein and Bill Damaschke. Bank of America is the Major Sponsor of Half Time. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2017-2018 season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

Half Time will be directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell and co-choreographed by Nick Kenkel with music direction by Charlie Alterman. The cast will feature previously announced five-time Emmy nominee Georgia Engel (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” The Drowsy Chaperone) and Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White (The Life, “Sesame Street”) along with André De Shields (The Wiz, The Full Monty, Ain’t Misbehavin’). The newest addition to this stellar cast is Tony award winner and Broadway legend Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line) who with this all-star cast will tell the uplifting true story of ten New Jersey seniors with extraordinary dreams.  Half Time is based on the motion picture "Gotta Dance", directed, written and produced by Dori Berinstein.

From the director/choreographer of Kinky Boots comes the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team. They have three things in common: they love to dance, they have something to prove, and they are all over 60. Only after making the cut do they learn they won’t be dancing tap, salsa or swing—instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip-hop. Take the uplifting journey with these dreamers—and the young coaches who inspire them along the way—as they battle self-doubt, stereotypes and even each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it’s not the end of the game—it’s Half Time.

The principal cast will feature André De Shields as Ron, Georgia Engel as Dorothy/Dottie, Donna McKechnie as Joanne, Lillias White as Bea, who will be joined by Haven Burton as Tara, Lori Tan Chinn as Mae, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe as Kendra, Nancy Ticotin as Camilla, Madeleine Doherty as Estelle, Tracy Jai Edwards as Alison Prager, Mary Claire King as Jenny, Lenora Nemetz as Fran, and Kay Walbye as Muriel. 

Rounding out the cast are Alexander Aguilar, Ken Ard, Sydni Beaudoin, Tami Dahbura, Paula DeLuise, Gabriela Garcia, Talya Groves, Kathryn Kendall, Valton Jackson, Summerisa Bell Stevens, Garrett Turner and Gayle Turner.

“I am thrilled our new musical Half Time will be a part of the very exciting 2017-2018 Paper Mill season,” stated Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell. “Half Time celebrates the singular power of music and dance to unleash big emotions and bring people together.  We can’t wait to share it with the amazing audiences at Paper Mill.”

“We are excited to welcome legends André De Shields, Georgia Engel, Donna McKechnie and Lillias White to Paper Mill Playhouse,” commented Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director. “This new musical, inspired by the documentary Gotta Dance, is a true New Jersey story that will be thrilling for audiences of any age.”

The creative team of Half Time reunites Mitchell with his Kinky Boots collaborators, including Tony Award winner David Rockwell (Scenic Design), Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes (Costume Design) and Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design), along with Nick Kenkel (Co-Choreography), Randy Hansen (Sound Design), Jason Lee Courson (Projection Design), Drama Desk nominee Josh Marquette (Hair and Wig Design), Tony Award winner Larry Hochman (Orchestrations), and Telsey + Company (Casting).  The Production Stage Manager is Jason Brouillard.

Half Time will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm.

Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order $23 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse box office on the day of the performance. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2017/2018 season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

The Cast

André De Shields (Ron). In a career spanning 49 years, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator. A multiple Tony Award nominee, Mr. De Shields is the recipient of the 2012 Fox Foundation Fellowship/Distinguished Achievement, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, and the 2018 Bob Harrington Bistro Award for Lifetime Achievement. He is best known for his showstopping performances in six legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On!, The Full Monty, Mark Medoff’s Prymate, and Impressionism (with Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons).

Georgia Engel (Dorothy/Dottie) is excited to be making her debut here at Paper Mill Playhouse with this production of Half Time. Georgia last appeared on Broadway creating the role of Mrs. Tottendale in The Drowsy Chaperone. Other Broadway credits include My One and Only and Hello, Dolly! with Ethel Merman. Off Broadway, Georgia received an Obie Award for Annie Baker’s John (Signature Theatre), directed by Sam Gold. She also appeared in Annie Baker’s translation of Uncle Vanya (Soho Rep), also directed by Sam Gold, and Will Eno’s Middletown (Vineyard Theatre). Television: “Hot in Cleveland,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” (three Emmy nominations), “Coach,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ (two Emmy nominations).

Donna McKechnie (Joanne) was last seen at Paper Mill Playhouse as Sally in Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. She received a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for her performance in A Chorus Line. Other Broadway shows include How to Succeed…; The Education of Hyman Kaplan; Sondheim: A Musical Tribute (also choreographed); On the Town; Promises, Promises; Company; State Fair (Astaire Award); and The Visit. Besides regional theaters across the country, Donna has starred in numerous productions in London’s West End, Paris, and Tokyo. She has guest starred extensively with symphony orchestras throughout this country, on television, and in film. Her memoir, Time Steps: My Musical Comedy Life, was published by Simon and Schuster.

Lillias White (Bea). Select Broadway credits include Fela! (Tony nomination), The Life (Tony Award), Chicago, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Cats, Once on This Island, and Dreamgirls. Film/TV: The Get Down, Gotham, Person of Interest, Nasty Baby, Smash, Pieces of April, Gloria, Disney’s Hercules, Sesame Street (Emmy Award), Law & Order. Off Broadway/Regional: Texas in Paris (Lortel nomination); While I Yet Live; Love, Loss, and What I Wore; The Best Is Yet to Come; Purlie; Dinah Was; Crowns; Joe Turner’s Come and Gone; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (NAACP Theatre Award); Vagina Monologues; Romance in Hard Times (Obie Award); among numerous others.

Haven Burton (Tara) is overjoyed to make her Paper Mill debut. Broadway credits include Kinky Boots (Lauren), Violet (standby for Sutton Foster), Shrek (Gingy, Fiona u/s), Legally Blonde (Margot, Elle u/s), Rent (Maureen). Off Broadway, regional, and tours include Gotta Dance (Tara), Disaster! (Marianne), Nobody Loves You, Shrek (first national tour and PCLO, Fiona), Rent (national tour, Mrs. C), Santa Rosa Symphony Pops. She can be seen with her son on season one of High maintenance (HBO).

Lori Tan Chinn (Mae) was born and raised in Seattle, WA. Broadway: Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentlemen (Broadway and theatrical debut), G. R. Point, M. Butterfly. Off Broadway: The Primary English Class, G. R. Point, The Ballad of Soapy Smith. Regional: Arena Stage (South Pacific, Bloody Mary—Helen Hayes Award); Goodman Theatre (Peter Sellars’s The Merchant of Venice); Walnut Street Theatre (South Pacific); O’Neill National Playwrights Conference (seven seasons as an actor, five seasons as a reader to artistic director Lloyd Richards). Film: Mickey Blue Eyes, What About Bob?, Glengarry Glen Ross, She-Devil. Television: Orange Is the New Black, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific (Bloody Mary), Roseanne.

Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (Kendra) is thrilled to make her Paper Mill debut in Half Time! Fresh out of the University of Michigan, her university credits include One Hit Wonder (Fiona), The Drowsy Chaperone (Chaperone), and American Idiot. Other credits include All Shook Up (Muny) and Mamma Mia!, Aida, Shrek, and South Pacific (Pittsburgh CLO).

Nancy Ticotin (Camilla), a native New Yorker, made her Broadway debut at age 10. Film: Ransom, The Wiz, Hackers, The History of Future Folk. TV: Taken, Law & Order, SVU, Orange Is the New Black. Ticotin is an original member of Ballet Hispánico of NY. She was the sole mezzo-soprano in the nine-member operetta Great Day in the Morning at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris with Jessye Norman, directed by Robert Wilson. Broadway: The King and I, West Side Story, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Damn Yankees, In the Heights. First National Tour: On Your Feet (Gloria Fajardo). Highlight: guest star with New York City Ballet as Anita in West Side Story Suite.

Madeleine Doherty (Estelle) appeared in six Broadway shows including the original casts of The Producers, A Christmas Carol, Sister Act, Gigi, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She recently appeared in The Producers at Paper Mill Playhouse reprising the role she originated on Broadway. Over 50 regional productions and five national tours.

Tracy Jai Edwards (Alison Prager). Broadway: Amber Von Tussle in Hairspray, Serena in Legally Blonde (also MTV). Off Broadway, regional, and international credits: Ruthless, She Loves Me, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (with Ann-Margret), Guys and Dolls, Grease: Das Musical, and many more. TV: Odd Mom Out, Law & Order: SVU, Curb Your Enthusiasm, White Collar, to name a few.

Mary Claire King (Jenny) is back at Paper Mill after appearing in Oliver! in 2013. Broadway: War Paint. Tour: Catch Me If You Can. Regional: Goodman, Theatre Under the Stars, North Shore Music Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Flat Rock Playhouse. Proud member of Range A Capella, which has been featured performing on E!, Nickelodeon, and with Kelly Clarkson in her Piece by Piece tour at Radio City Music Hall.

Lenora Nemetz (Fran) left her native Pittsburgh as a teenager to work on Broadway. She began her career with her Broadway debut in Cabaret. A protégé of Bob Fosse, Nemetz first came to the attention of New York critics when she replaced Chita Rivera as Velma Kelly in Fosse's production of Chicago. She went on to create the role of Delores Dante in the Broadway production of Working, garnering a Drama Desk Award nomination. She co-starred with Peter Allen in his one man show Up in One both on Broadway and in Los Angeles. Nemetz co-starred with Chita Rivera as Angel in The Rink filling in for Liza Minnelli. National tours include Sweet Charity, Bye Bye Birdie and Some Like it Hot. She appeared in Paper Mill Playhouse’s Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2013.

Kay Walbye (Muriel) Paper Mill Playhouse: Run for Your Wife, It Runs in the Family, Out of Order. Broadway: Titanic, Urinetown, The Secret Garden, Run for Your Wife (original companies); Grease, The Rose Tattoo (Circle in the Square). Lincoln Center: Show Boat (NY Philharmonic). Encores!: Juno, Bye Bye Birdie. Regional: Gotta Dance (Chicago), Damn Yankees (Arena Stage—Helen Hayes nomination), Damn Yankees (North Shore Music Theatre—IRNE nomination), Pygmalion (Alley Theatre), Oklahoma! (Sacramento Music Circus), The Front Page (Williamstown Theatre Festival). TV: The Blacklist, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir Launches 2018 Tour throughout New Jersey


Award-winning Ensemble to Present Fully-staged Concerts at Eight Locations

(New Jersey) Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is pleased to announce dates and locations for the 2018 Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir tour. This season the show choir will play New Jersey venues in Millburn, Somerset, New Providence, Rahway, Metuchen, Wanaque, Kenilworth and South Orange. This fully-staged concert event called “Seize the Day” is a song and dance extravaganza featuring production numbers from popular Broadway shows including Newsies, Frozen, Hairspray, The Wiz, Rent, Spring Awakening, Jersey Boys, Annie, Sister Act, and more. The program will also feature pop favorites from James Taylor, Lady Gaga, Otis Redding, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake and Pentatonix.

The Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir, presented by Overlook Medical Center, has toured the area at impressive venues including Lincoln Center, The Empire State Building, Sun Arena, MetLife Stadium, NJPAC, State Theatre, Bergen PAC, SOPAC and many more. The Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir is an audition based, exhibition Show Choir that stems from Paper Mill Playhouse’s award-winning Arts Education and Outreach programs. The choir consists of 70 singer/ dancers between the ages of 15 and 22. See below for a complete list of show choir performers by town.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit

“We are thrilled to showcase our largest ensemble to date and welcome the community to join us for some inspiring performances,” commented Shayne Austin Miller, Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir Director. “The Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir is a highly-competitive, audition-based, free program that showcases the best talent in New Jersey. Our fully-staged concert event, Seize the Day is perfect for audiences of all ages.”

2018 Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir Tour Schedule

Saint Stephen’s Church, Millburn, NJ
For Tickets: 973.625.5726

Villager’s Theatre, Somerset, NJ

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, New Providence, NJ
For Tickets:

Hamilton Stage, Rahway, NJ
For Tickets: or 732.499.8226

Forum Theatre, Metuchen, NJ
For Tickets:

Lakeland Regional High School, Wanaque, NJ
For Tickets: 973.831.2240

Saint Theresa’s Catholic Church, Kenilworth, NJ
For Tickets:

South Orange Performing Arts Center, South Orange, NJ
For Tickets: or 973.313.2787

This year’s show choir members include (alphabetical by town): Joshua Dunn (Bayonne), Sean Glennon (Belle Mead), Mia Montero (Berkeley Heights), Nicolette Kelly (Booton), Lindsey Kazar (Branchburg), Liam Driscoll (Chatham), Nathaniel Eck (Chatham), Ronan Green (Chatham), Zariah Rivera (Clifton), Ryan Campbell (Colonia), Matthew Harmon (Cortlandt Manor, NY), Gabrielle Aubrey (Cranford), Olivia Orlando (Cranford), Faith Ricca (Cranford), Laura Salway (Cranford),  McKenzie Hegarty (Denville), Benjamin Cruz (Dover), Robert Quiles (Dumont), Georglana Balisage (Elizabeth), Elvin Rodriguez (Elizabeth), Madelin Morales (Fairfield), Anne Hattem (Flanders), George Wenson (Fords), Chris Hara (Franklin), Sydney Hammer (Green Pond), Nicole Verga (Hamburg), Ryan Quish (Hasbrouck Heights), Gina Teschke (Highlands), Amelia Firestone (Hoboken), Jose Fernando Gonzalez-Vidal (Jersey City), Makayla Koski (Kenilworth), Melody Stubbs (Kenilworth), Jordan Hurtado (Kinnelon), Caitlyn McHenry (Kinnelon), Cassie Mateo (Laurel Springs), Jolien Avena (Lincoln Park), Brian Corona (Linden), Anna McCarthy (Madison), Jaclyn Lenox (Martinsville), Jenna Young (Matawan), Sebastian Zuniga (Metuchen), Zachary Fox (Millburn), Alexandra Witek (Monmouth Beach), Elizabeth Witek (Monmouth Beach), Tyler Wrotny (Monmouth Junction), Keeley Gorman (Montclair), Miles Wright (Montclair), Molly McDermott (Morris Plains), Mia Maccarella (Mount Tabor), Leah Slepoi (Mountainside), Yezenia Rodriguez (Newark), Alex McCully (Newton), Randy Campo (North Plainfield), Matt Rodriguez (Nutley), David Villa (Nutley), Michael Magielnicki (Parlin), Jolie Schaub (Pompton Plains), Johnny Mulcahy (Poughkeepsie, NY), Avelyn Simons (Princeton), Matthew Milligan (Rahway),  Jason Myers (Rahway), Christopher Smith (Rahway), Helena Chaves (Ringwood), Steph Stone (Short Hills), Faith Dodge (South Plainfield), Noelle Cappuzzo (Succasunna),  Samantha Kelleher (Summit), Charlotte Wesson (Summit),  Alyssa Carbonell (Union), Pranav Chawla (Union), Amanda Wingo (Union), Evan Caban (Union), Marcus Platt (Union), Casey Rae Borella (Verona), Isaiah Beals (West Orange), Elizabeth Allen (Westfield), Prestine Allen (Westfield), Matthew Meixner (Westfield), Matt Siroty (Westfield), Joseph Gordon (White Plains, NY) and Valencio Lazarczyk (Whitehouse Station).            

For more information please visit  

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director) and Todd Schmidt (Managing Director) and recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is one of the country's leading regional theaters.  Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Auditions: The Outsiders at Holmdel

The Outsiders
by S.E. Hinton
adapted by Christopher Sergel
Directed by Kirk White
Audition Dates:
Wednesday May 16 & Thursday May 17, 2018
7-9:30 PM
Callbacks (if necessary) Saturday May 19 2:00 PM
Duncan Smith Theatre
36 Crawfords Corner Rd.

Holmdel, NJ 07733
Production Dates:
July 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, Aug 3, 4, 5
Cast members must keep rehearsal scheduling conflicts to a minimum.
Needed are a range of performers, both female and male, all ages and ethnicities welcome. No pre-registration is required. Monologues are welcome but not required. Audition sides from the script will be provided at auditions.
All Roles Are Open.
"The Outsiders," a play based on the classic novel by S.E. Hinton, adapted by Christoper Sergel. Seen through the eyes of Ponyboy, a Greaser on the wrong side of life who is caught up in territorial battles between the have-it-made rich kids, "The Socs," and his tough, underprivileged family and friends. As these young people try to find themselves and each other, the sadness of sophistication begins to reach them, and change them.

Ponyboy: Male, 14-18
novel’s narrator and protagonist; the youngest of the Greasers; his literary interests and academic accomplishments set him apart from the rest of his gang; because his parents have died in a car accident, he lives with his brothers Darry and Sodapop; Darry repeatedly accuses him of lacking common sense, but Ponyboy is a reliable and observant narrator; he struggles with class division, violence, innocence, and familial love, but matures, eventually realizing the importance of strength in the face of class bias.
Johnny Cade: Male, 14-18
physically small for his age; greaser; does not succeed in school, but approaches intellectual matters with steady concentration; child of alcoholic, abusive parents; nervous and sensitive; since his parents do not care for him, he sees the Greasers as his true family; in turn, the older boys, particularly Dally, are protective of him.
Dallas (Dally) Winston: Male, 16-18
the toughest hood in Ponyboy’s group of Greasers; a hardened teen who used to run with gangs in New York; unlike his friends, does not put grease in his white-blond hair; his violent tendencies make him more dangerous than the other Greasers, and he takes pride in his criminal record; feels protective of Johnny Cade.
Two-Bit: Male, 17-19
joker of Ponyboy’s group; his real name is Keith, a wisecracking Greaser who regularly shoplifts; prizes his sleek black-handled switchblade; instigates the hostilities between the Socs and the Greasers by flirting with Marcia, the girlfriend of a Soc.
Darry: Male, 20-22
Ponyboy’s oldest brother; Greaser who is raising Ponyboy because their parents have died in a car crash; strong, athletic, and intelligent; has quit school; works two jobs to hold the family together; unofficial leader of the Greasers; becomes an authority figure for Ponyboy; makes good chocolate cake, which he and his brothers eat every day for breakfast; other Greasers call him “Superman.”
Sodapop: Male, 16-18
Ponyboy’s brother; a high school dropout; works at the local gas station; "movie-star" handsome; Ponyboy envies Sodapop’s good looks and charm; plans to marry Sandy, a Greaser girl.
Sandy: Female, 15-17
"Cherry" Sherry Valance: Female, 16-18

Bob Sheldon: Male, 18-20
Randy: Male, 18-20
Marcia: Female, 16-18
Paul: Male, 20-25
Supporting: Males & Females, 35-50
Supporting: Greasers and Socs: Males & Females, 14-20

Support Your Local Theaters Via The New Jersey Theatre Alliance

"The service that New Jersey Theatre Alliance offers Passage has been of vital importance to our longevity. The Alliance 'has our back' and for that we are grateful." -June Ballinger, Artistic Advisor Passage Theatre Company, Trenton

Dear Friend,
As New Jersey Theatre Alliance wraps up its fiscal year, we need to raise a final $9,000 to achieve our individual-giving goal.
Your tax-deductible gift of any size will make a difference to the entire NJ theatre community. Please send your tax-deductible gift before our fiscal year ends, on June 30th!


Your one gift directly benefits our 34 member theatres through services and programs such as The Stages Festival, the Cultural Access Network Project, NJArtsTix, and many more programs that strengthen theatres and build audiences. Our professional, non-profit theatres produce work of the highest standards, and bring a total of $31 million into local economies from event-related audience spending.
If you have already made a gift, thank you! If not, would you please consider making a tax-deductible gift today? Any size gift is greatly appreciated.
On behalf of the board, staff, and membership of New Jersey Theatre Alliance, I thank you for your patronage of our member theatres, and your support of the Alliance and its programming.
John McEwen
Executive Director


Checks may be sent to:
New Jersey Theatre Alliance
7 King Place
Morristown, NJ, 07960
A non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Tax I.D. # 22-2383501

Equity Member Theatres
American Theater Group
Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum
Cape May Stage
Centenary Stage Company
Crossroads Theatre Company    
Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre
Eagle Theatre
East Lynne Theater Company
The Garage Theatre Group
George Street Playhouse
The Growing Stage: The Children's Theatre of New Jersey
Luna Stage Company
McCarter Theatre Center
New Jersey Repertory Company
Paper Mill Playhouse
Passage Theatre Company
Premiere Stages
Pushcart Players
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
Surflight Theatre
Two River Theater
Writers Theatre of New Jersey
Associate Member Theatres
Actors Shakespeare Company
Alliance Repertory Theatre Company
Art House Productions
The Company Theatre Group
Hudson Theatre Works
Midtown Direct Rep
Mile Square Theatre
Skyline Theatre Company
South Camden Theatre Company
Speranza Theatre Company
The Theater Project
Women's Theater Company

Learn How to Repurpose Buildings for Arts and Culture at Northern NJ Community Foundation's Connect the Dots

Russell_C._Major_Liberty_School,_Englewood,_New_Jersey redu

What can a community do with an underused building? Find out at the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) ArtsBergen's Connect the Dots event, Repurposing Buildings for Arts and Culture, on Thursday, May 17. The informative networking event takes place at Art Center of Northern New Jersey, 250 Center Street in New Milford, New Jersey from 6:00 8:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Good-will donations are welcome.

Connect with artists, municipal and community leaders, historians and business owners living or working in Bergen County and meet others with similar interests. An interactive question and answer will follow a panel discussion to identify ways to make the county a more vibrant destination through adaptive reuse for arts- and cultural-based community development.

A seasoned panel will share insights about completed projects in the region and potential sites and opportunities in Bergen County. The featured speakers on the panel are: Cynthia Forster, director, Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs; Bill Kraus, Principal, C.W. Kraus Preservation & Development; and Michael Shannon, President, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation. They will discuss the steps involved in repurposing a building from concept development to financing; cultivating buy-in from the community, artists, politicians and commercial stakeholders; and defining the role and involvement of artists.

headerArt Center of Northern New Jersey, an example of repurposing a building for the arts, is a fine arts school and gallery offering arts classes to the general public. Founded in 1956, the organization found its current in home in 1984 by repurposing the Lutheran Church-St. Matthews.

“Underutilized, vacant, or historic properties are often diamonds in the rough that can be a community’s unseen assets. The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's ArtsBergen promotes creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a region, city or neighborhood. Part of the work of creative placemaking is envisioning the potential these buildings have to strengthen and enrich community life, when activated with arts- and culture-based purposes," said Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.


Space is limited. Pre-registration is required and may be done online at or contact

For further information about the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation or ArtsBergen, contact or call 201-568-5608.

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses primarily on civic engagement, education, public health, and the arts.  NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life. The Foundation's partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other, by sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.

For more information, visit, send an email to, or call (201) 568-5608. Follow the NNJCF on Facebook at Northern NJ Community Foundation/ArtsBergen and Twitter @NNJCF.

About ArtsBergen

ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an emerging arts alliance in Bergen County, New Jersey that supports and encourages creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy. The initiative's mission is to energize and unify artists and arts organizations and connect the Bergen County community to the arts. For more information, visit, send an email to, or call 201-568-5608.

NJSO to present screenings of the iconic films with Oscar-winning composer John Williams’ scores performed live

star wars

Tickets for Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back in concert with the NJSO on sale May 4

NJSO to present screenings of the iconic films with Oscar-winning composer John Williams’ scores performed live

Tickets for Mary Poppins in concert also on sale May 4

NJSO performs movies in Red Bank, Newark and New Brunswick

Star Wars: A New Hope – Nov 23–25, 2018

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – Jan 4–6, 2019

Mary Poppins in Concert – Apr 12–14, 2019

In celebration of Star Wars Day, single tickets for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s performances of the first two films in the Star Wars: Film Concert Series go on sale on Friday, May 4, at 10 am. The NJSO presents screenings of the complete films Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back with Oscar-winning composer John Williams’ musical scores performed live in November 2018 and January 2019, respectively.

Tickets for Mary Poppins in Concert—the third film in the NJSO’s 2018–19 Pops Movie Series—also go on sale May 4. The classic Disney film won multiple Academy Awards.

Fans will be able to experience the scope and grandeur of these beloved films in a live symphonic concert experience at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick.

Since the release of the first Star Wars movie nearly 40 years ago, the Star Wars saga has had a seismic impact on both cinema and culture, inspiring audiences around the world with its mythic storytelling, captivating characters, groundbreaking special effects and iconic musical scores composed by Williams.

The NJSO performs A New Hope on Friday, November 23, at 8 pm at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank; Saturday, November 24, at 8 pm at NJPAC in Newark; and Sunday, November 25, at 3 pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick.

The Orchestra performs The Empire Strikes Back on Friday, January 4, at 8 pm at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank; Saturday, January 5, at 8 pm at NJPAC in Newark; and Sunday, January 6, at 3 pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick.

Mary Poppins in Concert is a family-friendly, symphonic cinema event featuring the five-time Oscar award winning Disney film unfolding on the big screen with a live symphony orchestra performing the Sherman Brothers’ charming and delightful musical score. The Sherman Brothers won Academy Awards for Best Original Song (for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”) and Best Original Musical Score.

Performances of Mary Poppins take place on Friday, April 12, at 8 pm at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank; Saturday, April 13, at 8 pm at NJPAC in Newark; and Sunday, April 14, at 3 pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick.

State Theatre New Jersey co-presents the November 25, January 6 and April 14 performances.

For more information, visit


Legendary composer Williams is well known for scoring all eight of the Star Wars saga films, beginning with 1977’s Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope), for which he earned an Academy Award for Best Original Score. His scores for Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens each were nominated for Oscars for Best Original Score. Return of the Jedi was released on December 15, 2017.

Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards and 22 Grammy Awards. With 50 Academy Award nominations, Williams is the Academy’s most nominated living person and the second most-nominated individual in history, after Walt Disney. In 2005, the American Film Institute selected Williams' score to 1977’s Star Wars as the greatest American film score of all time. The soundtrack to Star Wars also was preserved by the Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Williams was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl’s Hall of Fame in 2000, and he received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004, the National Medal of Arts in 2009 and the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2016. Williams has composed the scores for eight of the top 20 highest-grossing films at the US box office (adjusted for inflation).


Single tickets start at $20 and will be available from the NJSO online at, by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or in person. The NJSO Patron Services office is located at 60 Park Place, 9th floor, in Newark; hours are Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm, and concert Saturdays, 11 am–5 pm.

Tickets for the November 25, January 6 and April 14 performances will also be available from State Theatre New Jersey online at, by phone at 732.246.SHOW (7469) or in person. The State Theatre New Jersey Guest Services office is located at 15 Livingston Ave in New Brunswick. Hours are Monday—Friday, 10 am–6 pm, and at least three hours prior to curtain on performance dates unless otherwise specified.



Fri, Nov 23, at 8 pm | Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank

Sat, Nov 24, at 8 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Sun, Nov 25, at 3 pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Light Opera of NJ’s SHOWTIME! Benefit Concert

May 5, 2018

featuring our Star-Studded SHOWTIME!  Concert

Delicious Food and Wine   Dessert Reception   Entertainment   Silent Auction     Wine Pull   

Visit for complete details and reservations

Deadline for reservations has been extended to April 30th online only! 


You don't want to miss the opportunity to see and hear reprises of our Hit Shows, featuring the original artists!

Ken Magos

Julie Galorenzo

Suzanne Karpov

Cameron Smith

David Murray

Chelsea Friedlander

Barbara Haag

Will Carey

featuring Sweeney Todd's award winning Director, Jeffrey Fiorello

Lois Buesser

Stephen Fox

*Benefactor seats include full dinner, Concert and Dessert Reception for $150.00

*Patron seats include Concert and Dessert Reception for $75.00

For special seating requests and additional information please contact Elaine Gennaro at 908-337-0135.

Hosted by

Light Opera of New Jersey Board of Trustees


David Clark and Tawnya Kabnick

William and Lauran Corson

Steven Fulda and May Furstner

Michael and Elaine Gennaro

Shari Loe and David T. Matsushima

Heath and Rebecca Weisberg

LONJ Production Board

*All Guests must be at least 21 years of age.

Saturday, April 21, 2018




Flash Sale! Today only!

NJFO Season Finale Special offer:


Must purchase tickets TODAY Saturday April 21st.

Use promo code EARLY at check out.

Join us for our Season Finale celebration

Saturday, May 19 at 7pm | Sunday, May20 at 3pm

Westfield .............................Madison, NJ

Tickets $76 | $60 | $48 | $28 | $20 Students | $15 U18


NJFO Season Finale Special offer*:


Must purchase tickets TODAY Saturday April 21st.

Use promo code EARLY at check out.

*Must purchase ONLINE.

All sales final - no refunds or exchanges. Adult tickets only.

Cannot be applied to previous purchases.


Don't forget to use promo code EARLY at check out!

Visit our website

NEW JERSEY FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | 224 East Broad St, Westfield, NJ 07090


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Reviewed By Ruth Ross (

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on the Lorraine Motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee, the morning after he delivered his “I Have Been to the Mountaintop” speech in support of the city’s sanitary workers. Although we don’t know how he spent those hours preceding the rally in his motel room, playwright Craig Alan Edwards imagines him mulling over his life; his personal relationships with his father, wife and colleagues; his successes and failures; his anxieties; and the future of the nonviolent movement to secure civil rights for blacks and poor people of every race and creed.

The result is The Man in Room 306, written by Edwards 23 years ago, workshopped at Luna Stage in 1995 and produced in 2008, starring Edwards and directed by Cheryl Katz, which is where I first reviewed the play. In the half century (!) since Dr. King’s death, one might have hoped that his goals had been reached; sadly, just looking around us, it’s all too plain that while some have been achieved, we still have work to do.

To commemorate this milestone anniversary, Luna has revived The Man in Room 306 but with a new actor and director. Once again, this tour de force production reveals a more human side to the great civil rights leader that few people know or remember, in an absorbing, extraordinary piece of theater and art—rendered even more relevant with the rise of the alt-right and prevalence of hate speech on social media.

Scenic designers Christopher and Justin Swader have replicated King’s actual motel room to evoke the venue where he spent his last hours. A half-eaten meal, an unfinished game of solitaire and papers strewn about suggest the life of a real human being soon to be interrupted. A video projected on the room’s back wall and depicting the preceding march adds immediacy to what we know lies ahead. Andy Evan Cohen’s sound design includes pigeons cooing, wings flapping and gun shots “heard” by King in a recurring nightmare, along with the prescient sounding thunder of an impending storm. And to convey the passage of time, Devon Cameron deepens the light coming through the motel windows, adding to the ominous atmosphere.

Image result for luna stageDirector Jerome Preston Bates keeps the action tight and focused, but it’s Jamil A.C. Mangan who carries the performance on his broad shoulders—always front and center—and speaking nonstop in the dulcet Southern vocal intonation that morphs smoothly into King’s more familiar preacher declamation style. Addressing the audience directly, he gives voice to his anxieties and dreams, and recalls important people in his past, even adopting their voices as they “speak” to him. His grandmother, Mama, who instilled a love of vocabulary in her precocious grandson; his overbearing and opinionated preacher father, who had his son’s life mapped out for him yet admonished him to “play it safe”; and his lively, sometimes neglected, wife Coretta who worried that his only suit might disintegrate from constant wearing! Edwards and Mangan reveal a man who would rather read the newspaper sports section than write a speech for the next day’s march, a man who dreams of being a major league baseball pitcher, a man who delights in playing practical jokes and having them played on him. And Mangan is masterful in the long, opening telephone conversation with an unknown caller; his delivery is natural, convincing and paced just like a natural conversation.

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Mangan’s King is anguished by the death of a 16-year-old boy killed in the Memphis march after he left the demonstration; by the memories of the four little girls killed in the Birmingham church bombing; and by the Mississippi children so poor that all they ate for lunch was a quarter of an apple and some crackers given to them by their teacher. Yet this King is not without humor; witness his recreation of meeting Coretta in Boston and snowing her with his oozing charm or his admission that he once wanted to become an opera singer! In a stirring scene that has him on his knees, weeping and singing a hymn to God, seeking forgiveness and, ironically, asking the Lord to “take him home”—presumably to Heaven, Mangan ably conveys King’s struggle with his personal doubts and limitations.

Luna Stage Presents 'Man In Room 306' In Honor Of MLK

And finally, Mangan’s delivery of King’s speech to the rally of sanitation workers is prophetic and sad, communicating the power of the words so beautifully that one weeps for what might have been if King had not been murdered.

The best thing about Craig Edwards’ script and Jamil Mangan’s splendid performance is that an iconic figure is humanized, reminding us that many of our idols have feet of clay, whether they be our preachers, our politicians or our parents, and that forgiveness of missteps is important if we are to move forward to the Promised Land, whatever that is for us, individually or collectively.

The play’s title says it all: The Man in Room 306 is the story of a man, not a symbol. As such, this production, appropriate for an audience including both teenagers (who might not know much about Martin Luther King, Jr., other than what they’ve read in history textbooks) and those old enough to remember seeing him on television or, perhaps, marching with him in Washington, D.C., deserves to be seen. You’ll be sorry if you miss it.

The Man in Room 306 will be performed Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. at Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange through May 13. The theater is wheelchair accessible and has an interesting Context Room for background information about Dr. King and the production. For information and tickets, call the box office at 973.395.5555 or visit online.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Centenary University NextStage Repertory to present 'Lucky Stiff'

Centenary University NextStage Repertory presents Lucky Stiff April 27 through May 6 in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. The Tony Award-winning writing team, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's, first produced show, Lucky Stiff, premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons.

Based on the novel, The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo by Michael Butterworth, Lucky Stiff is an offbeat, hilarious murder mystery farce, complete with mistaken identities, six million bucks in diamonds and a corpse in a wheelchair. The story revolves around an unassuming English shoe salesman who is forced to take the embalmed body of his recently murdered uncle on a vacation to Monte Carlo. Should he succeed in passing his uncle off as alive, Harry Witherspoon stands to inherit $6,000,000. If not, the money goes to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn... or else his uncle's gun-toting ex!

The production is directed by CSC Artistic Director & Centenary University Chairman of the Fine Arts Department, Carl Wallnau with choreography by Assistant Professor of Theater/Dance and director of CSC’s Young Audience Series, Lea Antolini-Lid.  Wallnau has directed numerous productions including the world premieres of Inventing Montana, The Tillie Project and The Poetry of Pizza, as well as, the American premiere of A Laughing Matter and the New Jersey premieres of Below the Belt, Square One, Rounding Third, and Marvin’s Room. 

Antolini-Lid’s performance credits include most recently, The Learned Ladies, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins & A Christmas Carol all at Centenary Stage Company.  Other performance credits include, Floyd Collins and States of Independence at American Musical Theatre Works, The Importance of being Ernest at the New Repertory Theatre in Mass, and many recent productions at The Growing Stage Theatre Co, where she also choreographs and teaches. 

Performances will be held in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center on Friday, April 27 at 3:30pm & 8:00pm and Friday, May 4 at 8:00pm; Saturdays, April 28 and May 5 at 8:00pm; Sundays, April 29 and May 6 at 2:00pm and Thursday, May 3 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for children under 12.

Lucky Stiff will be performed by NEXTstage Repertory, Centenary University Theater Department’s student based Performance Company under the auspices of the Centenary Stage Company.  NEXTstage Repertory provides students with the opportunity to perform along-side the production standard of a fully operational professional regional theater.  The Centenary University Theater Department has been in existence for 17 years and has continued to grow and expand, now boasting a musical theater concentration.  Students are able to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre with concentrations in Costume Design, Dance, Performance Studies, Production Management, Technical Theater and Musical Theater.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call the CSC box office at (908) 979 – 0900.  The box office is located in the Lackland Center; 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.  Box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5 pm and two hours prior to each performance.

The 2017-2018 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

Final Weekend to See Holmdel's 'Much Ado About Nothing'

3 more chances this weekend to catch
William Shakespeare's beloved romantic comedy

Much Ado About Nothing

Directed by Tom Frascatore
April 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28 - 8PM
April 15, 22 - 2PM

Please Join us for a "merry war" between the sexes. William Shakespeare's most beloved romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing boasts one of Shakespeare's most delightful heroines, most dancing wordplay, and the endearing spectacle of intellectual and social self-importance bested by the desire to love and be loved in return.


Beatrice​​​....Tess Ammerman
Benedick​​​....James Weeks*
Leonato​​​....Ed Faver
Hero​​​​....Elizabeth Colagrande
Claudio....​​​Shan Williams
Don Pedro​​​....Andrew James Gordon
Dogberry....​​​Rupert Ravens
Don John​​​....Peter Newes
Friar Francis....​​​Howard Smith
Borachio​​​....Mark Zebro
Margaret​​​....Jessica Freeland
Antonio....​​​Mike Sockol
Conrade​​​....Joseph Walter
Ursula....​​​​Julia Lupi
Messenger/Balthazar​/Watch​....Bella Ashton
Sexton.....Sami DeSocio
Verges.....Laurie Devino
*appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

Students $15, Seniors $20, Adult $25
Please note all online order are subject to a $2.50 Processing fee. 
At door orders are subject to a $1 Facility Fee.

Circle Players' fifth production of 2018/2019 season, “Stupid F*cking Bird”

Circle Players and director Brian Craig are proud to announce the fifth production of our 2018/2019 season, “Stupid F*cking Bird”, by Aaron Posner.

In this irreverent, contemporary, and very funny remix of Chekhov’s The Seagull, Aaron Posner stages a timeless battle between young and old, past and present, in search of the true meaning of it all. This play will tickle, tantalize, and incite you to consider how art, love, and revolution fuel your own pursuit of happiness.
Performances of the play will take place as follows:
·         Fridays: April 27May 11 at 8:00pm
·         Saturdays: April 28, May 5, 12, at 8:00pm
·         Sundays: May 6, 13 at 3:00pm

A talkback will be held following the Sunday, Mat 5 performance.

The play will be directed by Brian Craig of Belmar and produced by Jennifer and JD Robinson of Highland Park.  It will be stage managed by Marijah Sroczynski of Piscataway.

Appearing in the cast are: Noah Stanzione, Thom Boyer, Jessica Musolino, Allison Mitchell, Linda Hatcher, Mike Johnson, and Bob Dumpert.

Audiences are invited to join in a special wine and cheese reception in the theater lobby following the opening night performance.

The theater is located at 416 Victoria Avenue, Piscataway. Please be advised: due to the unique layout of this theater in the round, latecomers cannot be seated after the performance has started. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before curtain.

For reservations, call (732) 968-7555, or buy tickets online at

Tickets are $18 for adults and $17 for students and seniors.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Multiple interns in NYC during summer for Arts Festival


A world-premiere production titled UMBILICAL in the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity seeks multiple interns in NYC during summer of 2018.
The Planet Connections Festivity is New York’s premiere socially-conscious arts festival. Planet Connections’ artists use their work to raise awareness for a self-selected organization/topic. Since its inception in 2008, PC has presented over 200 productions and has supported over 300 charities.
UMBILICAL will be mounted in the 2018 Festival, which will take place in NYC from July 11 to August 5. An experimental piece, UMBILICAL explores an encounter between two strangers and a third performer in a surreal post-apocalyptic environment. It will run for six performances concluding on Saturday August 4th.
The production seeks:
Assistant Director
Stage Manager
Sound Designer
Set/Costume/Production Designer
Time commitment will run from May through the beginning of August; all are part-time jobs with varying hours (SM/AD will likely have the greatest time commitment; set/costume designers likely least). Those willing to fill multiple jobs will be preferred.
Please send your resumes, cover letters, and work samples (if applicable) to both Adam Chisnall at achisnall@gmail.comand to Michael Landes at